The Art of The Self Portrait. Or, How I Am Going on Hiatus Again This Week. Or, You Probably Think I Love My Self Too Much For Which I Have No Argument Against

If, by any chance you come here often enough to have missed me last week and then suffered through my epic poem about Pygmy Lush and Des Ark, then you are perhaps wondering what is going on here at KYS. And for that I will probably offer you very little in the way of answers that will satisfy. Mostly, I am tired. Both physically and mentally.

Since October I have mostly been updating this blog on a daily basis, offering up show and record reviews and pointing you towards some awesome free music that’s out there on the interwebs for you to download in the event that you aren’t like Justin and able to hack the shit out of life. Frankly, that shit was kind of wearing me out, especially as the list of new releases piled up and didn’t get reviewed.  Doing record reviews kind of sucks when that’s like the main focus of your blog and that was never my intention. It was mostly a way to have some sort of outlet while I was sitting around at my mom’s house. Now that I am not there, I don’t really want to do that.

I’m not going to lie, seeing Des Ark and Pygmy Lush and listening to their new albums kind of fucked me up. They are totally amazing and made me realize, all this diving into shit was seriously depleting the way I listen to and enjoy music. But frankly there hasn’t been much in a long time that has made me go crazy like Old Friends which I have listened to just short of twenty times since Friday. I haven’t even been up that long. Seriously.

Also, I’ve been really lazy. I’m kinda of freaking out that I am not working. Part of why I am freaking out is because I am not doing a lot to get a job. Sometimes this makes me feel awesome, like I am telling the man to fuck off. But I’m also not doing all the things I should be to make money for myself. I need some structure. So I need to reevaluate.

I’m taking the rest of this week off of blogging, and I might not come back with any regularity again for the foreseeable future. I might feel really refreshed and start writing about music again next week. I don’t really know. I just know that Korrupt Yr Self was not really meant for the web. So I’ve started on Issue #6 too. I have two pieces written already. One of them is about music actually. I contemplated putting the last epic head puke in my zine, but something about that felt like it needed to be immediate and available to a wider audience.

Also, I am doing a reading in Albuquerque, NM at a Zine show. It’s April 7th, 2011 at Cellar Door Gifts and Gallery. More information can be found by clicking here or by looking at the flier that’s like right next to all this text  you are consuming. I’ve wanted to do a zine reading since I started this. I’m not going to lie, I wish I was well read enough to do a modest sized tour like my hero, Al Burian. But he’s a better writer and zine maker than I am and he’s been in the game a lot longer than I have. Never the less, it’s something I am exploring doing. So if you live anywhere on the west coast and want to help me out with a show, a meal and a place to sleep and probably a ride to and from a Greyhound station that would be super awesome of you. If you live in Albuquerque you should come to this event. I’ll be the guy that looks like the guy up and to the left.

So that’s the long and short of it all. I’m trying to take more photos but the only other subject besides bands that I seem to like to take is photos of me. That photos is of me after getting back from Phoenix. I was totally angry and sleep deprived and I wanted to sleep so bad but there was so much light outside. It totally sucked. Also, I’ve been listening to They Might Be Giants for the last hour or so. Man, they are a great band that I don’t listen to nearly enough. Anyway, thanks for hanging out.

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Vacation Break for the Explicit Promotion of my Friends.

On Thursday night I get to see my two favorite bands. They also happen to be made up of friends of mine. Pygmy Lush and des_ark get a lot of love on this blog and in real life from me. I played my very first show at a teen-post type venue with all of the guys in Pygmy Lush and have been in awe of those dudes since then. I met Aimee (who has one of those cool little things over one of the e’s that I don’t know how to do on a keyboard because I am keyboard illiterate) about 12 years ago. Her music is beyond what words like chilling, haunting, beauty, tearful, sad, outraged and such can describe. Both bands have new music out now.

Pygmy Lush just unleashed this 7″ and it’s amazing. It’s also a tease as to what I know their new album, Old Friends, is going to be. Allegedly they have copies on tour and in just a few hours I will have it in my fat, vienna-sausage like hands. Either way, the Pygmy Lush boys are talented as fuck and they make some of the most clear, haunting, truly amazing songs I have ever heard. Seeing them in December, before I left Virginia was a bittersweet moment, because I got to watch greatness unfold through the loving hands and trust of five life long friends. I think that’s such an important aspect of what this band is about. Their camaraderie speaks to how they play music, how the songs are formed and shows the kind of kinship that is so rare in this disconnected world.

Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker will kill your mind. It grows and grows and grows over each listen. One of these days I might be able to actually unpack my emotions on the subject and actually write an articulate blog post about what her music means to me, this album specifically, both because the songs are amazing, the storytelling is awesome and I got to be a direct part of that. I gush over the fact, still, to this day, that Aimee asked me to shoot the cover of this album. I will probably mention that on this blog about a million times because no matter what else I do with my art and photography, this will always be very special to me. Aimee is a god damn power house of a musician and one of the funniest people I know. Also her smile is full of all things that are good about life.

These people inspire me. They make me want to be a better person, a more reliable human being. Their music helps my troubled soul, but having the distinct pleasure of spending time with these people enriches and enlightens my life. Do your self a favor, click on those links, buy that music, get your entire head re-calibrated and take the next steps of your life with a renewed passion, vigor and outlook. You will thank me for it. I swear.

Vacation – Again

Yo, I’m taking a vacation from blogging for at least this week. So to all my readers, like Justin, who just can’t get enough of me on the internet. I apologize. To rectify that, you can come here and stare at this picture of me that I took a long time ago when I lived in Virginia and had short hair. Enjoy.

Episode 22 – Aparently I Hate You Mixtape

So, dear reader, apparently I hate you. Between Viking Metal, NC Stoner Rock, Nordic Black Metal and whatever Sexdrome is, I put some hip-hop, some Mike Watt and my favorite new summer jam that came out in the winter. So this is pretty much a really weird mix. Plus it’s under 29 Minutes. Not even good enough for a Nor-East commute. I aim to unsatisfy. Enjoy it here.

Fossegrim – Kvelertak from S/T
Mancoon – Weedeater from Jason…The Dragon
Black Hole – Zoroaster – from Matador
Mouse-Headed-Man – Mike Watt from Hyphenated Man
Hiking Metal Punks – Darkthorne from Dark Thrones and Black Flags
The One Man Band Broke Up – Ceschi from The One Man Band Broke Up
Granite – Gull from The Bedoin Lover Demo
Still Sound – Toro Y Moi from Underneath the Pine
No One To Blame – Cheap Girls from Find Me A Drink Home
Two – Sexdrome from Grown Younger
Daily Dose – Cardiac Arrest from Life is a Dead End
If I Had A Gun – Dead Milkmen from Soul Rotation
(29:28)

Metal Up Your Tuesday!

There is a small silver lining in terms of the musical cloud that is Albuquerque. That is, we get some run off for South By South West as bands tour across the country here in March. I’m not going to lie, it’s felt a little dry and difficult. Maybe it’s just because I am use to having a really good, really supportive, local scene. But the impression I get from the few musician’s that actually have bands in this town is that the kids just aren’t coming out. The fact that there are not a lot of all ages shows doesn’t help that cause. But I digress. This week I got to see Mike Watt and some awesome metal bands. We already rapped about Watt so now you get to experience the metal.

My cousin in Norway, Anders, who is totally awesome by the way because he is Norwegian and because he’s into awesome shit and because he’s my cousin, wrote me this email telling me how lucky I was because my soon to be new favorite Norwegian band Kvelertak would be heading my way and he implored me, in no uncertain terms, that if I didn’t go I would be really blowing at life. So, like I established, my cousin Anders is awesome. He’s never, ever let me down when it comes to awesome Nordic music. He got me into Turbonegro before Bam Margera was kicking 540 flips, he told me about Hellacopters, he got me into the Cum Shots. He’s pretty hardcore. What music have you gotten me into? Oh that’s right NOTHING. Andres wins, you lose.

I descended upon the Launchpad in “downtown” Albuquerque (and just as an aside I think it’s cute people here in Duke City (DC!) call there like seven tall buildings in a cluster downtown. Reston, VA has a bigger downtown than Albuquerque) for some metal thrashing tuesday! First on the bill was Sandia Man a local, slow, semi sludge band. They were pretty good. I could have used a little more stage presence frankly, but the band was tight, the drummer was totally huge with an amazing beard and it got me psyched for the metalage. I also think it’s pretty cool that Launchpad is trying to put local bands on bigger shows. That’s how you support a scene, even if the people won’t. Which is lame. I would have liked to see more local fans for these guys. I’m hoping the Laughing Dog/Ronoso show in a few weeks gets the kids out. Oh wait, just checked, it’s not all ages anymore. LAME.

The show started late because Kvelertak and Zoroaster were late getting into town. From what I understand, Kvelertak had their visas stolen prior to coming to the states, missed a bunch of shows, have no merch with them and are at the mercy of their tour mates. But they seemed in really good spirits when the mighty Nordics took the stage. First of all, they have three guitar players like Turbonegro in it’s prime. Second, their bass player is HUGE, has face tattoos and is scary as hell. He’s all blond hair, blue eyed and I am sure he’s gonna get weird looks. But they hit the stage totally stoked to play. There were like three dudes up front who went crazy as all hell for them. The rest of Duke City took a big step back. I think the metal kids in this town are mostly afraid of metal. They must be because Kvelertak were amazing. I shot easily a hundred pictures of them playing, which if you can do that for a band you’ve never heard, is amazing. That’s how good they were. One of their guitar players totally does that Kurt Ballou, playing without a pick thing. Kvelertak just absolutely blew me away in no uncertain terms. They did everything a band should, come at you full blast, play amazingly well, hard and heavy and look like they were having a good time. Even the big, scary bass player with face tattoos looked happy. They dropped their bomb, once again proving that the best metal comes from Norway. I’ll probably never get to see them again in my life, but I don’t care because at least I got to see them once, in a good sized club in the middle of the desert.

Zoroaster had the unfortunate task of following the Viking Head Killers and they did all they could to hold their own. The pros in all of this were the overly large drum set, the massive amounts of bass and guitar amps and the fact that their bass player wasn’t so much playing his instrument as treading it like a piece of wood in which to toss about the air and pound on occasionally. They were just a bit too trudgey and riff heavy to follow the fast paced, non-stop rock show Keveltrak gave Albuquerque, but they were pretty damn good at it. The guitar player looked a  lot like Kim Thayil and played like the man. Which was pretty cool, actually. To see the good of Soundgarden being appreciated and applied in a more metal fashion is always welcomed to my ears. They built up in speed and showmanship as the show went on and the set ended with a pretty heafty dose of metal awesomeness.

Everyone in town was there to see Weedeater. I guess there’s something about a bunch of dirty, ugly, smelly (yea, I could smell them from the front of the stage) dudes from North Carolina who play the most ugly type of metal that really appeals to the people in this desert town. I can’t say I blame them. I’ve wanted to check out ever since I found out there new album was going to be called Jason…the Dragon. These are guys who clearly do not take the real world seriously and any regular reader of this stupid blog knows that is my current uploaded operating system. I mean, these guys are just ugly dudes. It’s not really a wonder that their life choices brought them to the point in which they play some sludgy, loud rock music. Their bass player/singer guy looked like the type of person who exists to bum people out, both in everyday interaction and when he’s on stage. He played like he didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought and owned the shit out of the four strings. The other two dudes did everything to make sure things stayed heavy with awesome drumming and the dirtiest, most unrefined guitar sound I have ever heard. I mean, by any standards of amplified aesthetics, it was as bad as the guitar tones on the first Burzrum album. So when you put everything together you got a sound of music that felt like the sweat and dirt and alcohol and road grease that poured off the members faces.

This traveling circus is on it’s way to Austin. By the time you read this all these dudes will have already burned down that city, leaving an ocean of blood made up of studio executives, posers and shitty tourists trying to act all cool. Sure, I was hoping I’d get some Ceremony, Trash Talk or even Too Many Daves this year. But there’s always October for that. I had no expectations and they were totally blown out of the water anyway. Tuesday Night Metal of that caliber should be a mandatory part of every person’s life in every town, every week for the rest of eternity.

I am Peter Pan

I’m having a bad day today. I don’t have any particular hold on why I am having a bad day today. Nothing too terrible happened. I think it’s because my car is making this terrible grinding noise and I know it’s going to be both very expensive and even more of a hassle to fix then it use to be. Facing what will be a large amount of money being taken from my bank account while not having any steady income makes me very stressed out.

I’ve been living a Peter Pan like life for the last few months. It’s been pretty good in most ways, especially on the days that I am productive. Some days, it’s really awesome. Yesterday, I was hanging out with my new friend Ari. We were trying to make a left turn across traffic and we were sitting, seemingly endlessly, while cars and busses and pedestrians prevented us from making a safe turn. Across the way I spotted, in great big giant letters, INDOOR GO-KARTING. Instead of making the left, we went indoor go-kart racing. It was awesome. Seriously, I never did anything like that in my entire life. My face hurt, my arms shook, I pulled some awesome Tokyo-Drift type moves. I was pretty awesome at it. I didn’t come in first or anything. Totally middle of the road. It was awesome. Did I mention that already? I suggest you play hooky from work right now, find your local go-kart track and get a shaking, adrenaline rush.

Today is not one of those Peter Pan Days. Sure, I have purple hair. Sure I have a sitting for my tattoo that is ill-advised both in aesthetics and in what it’s doing to my bank statements, and yes, I am watching Metalacolypse. So you know, I got that going for me. On that subject really quick, I am watching a Christmas episode. It’s always weird watching holiday themed shows, but it’s especially so when it’s 70 degrees outside, sunny and you are surrounded by desert. But yea, today is one of those days where my anxiety is pissing me off. It shouldn’t be. I met Mike Watt last night. I am seeing Weedeater and Nordic metal tonight. I have an awesome racing hoody I got to keep for free. I’m just bummed out a the moment I guess.

So, here are some things that are fun:

I met this lady last night. She plays in Jenny Invert. She was very excited, very drunk and getting ready to go on a very interesting adventure. She insisted on taking a picture with me so that we could remember meeting each other. I am not bound to forget. There was something so kind about this lady, her name escapes me and Jenny Invert internet sign posts are not hooking me up with the information. Regardless, I find this photo oddly comforting and it’s making me feel better for reasons I can’t explain.

This is a pile of CD’s that is meant to indicate how fricking messy my apartment is. I need to organize, and I think once I am done doing whatever it is I am attempting to do with this blog post I will organize more of these CD’s. If I get that done I can find a book shelf. Once I get that done I can unpack my two boxes of books. And then I will have more storage space. It would be nice if I could get this all done by the time my mom gets here, especially since by then, I need to figure out if I am staying in this apartment, in Albuquerque or what the hell I am doing. You know, I never did get that call back from Breaking Bad for that new awesome character. Oh yea, I was an extra on Breaking Bad.

I have purple hair. Did I mention that? I am pretty sure I did. (This is an awful blog post. You are supposed to be getting another show review, but I really need to just have a head vomit and you are the ones that have to suffer. Welcome to the internet.) But yea, I was having a Ramona Flowers moment of a desire for breaking free, running away and being in a state of perpetual impetuousness. So I bleached and dyed my hair purple. I need adult supervision. I’m probably going to write a song called “Feeling Ramona Flowers”. Because at least for the last few weeks, in my half totally awesome, half totally anxious, half totally free life, I’ve been felling Ramona Flowers. From the movie, not really the comic book. I know, blasphemy.

I stumbled on the fact that the best movie x3 is now out on DVD. I know, I shouldn’t spend my money and that I could have just ripped this off from a torrent. But I haven’t bought a DVD in over two years and frankly, Jackass speaks directly to my heart. It has for the last ten years. It personifies everything that is right and true and correct in our culture and rejects all that is wrong and evil and terrible. Plus this is in 3-D and it came with stupid, oldskool 3-d glasses. I haven’t checked that out yet. I’m a little afraid. Also, the extras suck ass. But you know, Jackass 3.5 is coming soon. Hopefully I am not totally cash strapped by then.

I’m looking forward to this stuff, Weedeater tonight. Camping this weekend. Playing Bass. Getting a tattoo. Getting stuff in the mail. Apparently I have some photos in the new Maximum Rock and Roll too. Check it out if you can find it. No record stores around here carry it but I think Dozer is sending me one. It’s pretty awesome.

I Shook The Hand Of Mike Watt

It’s a bit strange to write all of this at this moment. I just got home a few minutes ago from, I don’t even know the words to describe it really. Seeing Mike Watt play bass, less than five feet from my goofy smiling, purple hair died, peter pan face was akin to what others might call a religious experience. But clearly, if there is a God, and I don’t propose that there is, but if by some off-chance I am misreading the universe and there is a God, God is not nearly as amazing as Mike Watt.

In less than an hour, that presented itself more like an eternal vortex in which really I am still existing in, Watt and his Missingmen melted mine and every other bass player in Albuquerque’s faces off by performing, in full, without pause, the entire contents of his new rock opera, Hyphenated-Man. I’m beyond breathless, beyond taken away, beyond transfixed and transformed forever. I am validated in a part that I didn’t even know needed validation. It is not something I sought out, studied in a book or became aware of until it was handed to me. My life has changed by watching the fingers of one of my heroes walk with precision, love, and effort along the bass.

Mike Watt is my hero, someone I look up to and feel very emotional about. He’s a father figure, in fact, he reminds me of my father in that he larger than life, but full of deep resonate emotion and love. Yes, of course, as a bass player I look up to him. But failing to admire him for that prowess on the great instrument is tantamount to a willful ignorance that shouldn’t even be tolerated by anyone who calls themselves with pride and will, a bass player. Watt is my hero, my role model because he goes full steam, with a hunger and passion for life that is transformative. He glows and exudes positive vibes, that wavelength I moved to Albuquerque to get a piece of and am finding. Now, my body burns with some kind of radiant life force that is beautiful and strong and intimidating. I stood at the foot of a gentile giant and watched him play this monstrous, chiseled instrument like it was a kid’s toy. It’s Watt, it’s humbling to be in his presence, no matter how gracious and thankful he is for all of it.

After the rock opera, Watt and the awesome Missingmen huddled behind Watt’s giant rig. They took to their instruments one more time and proceeded to rock a seven song encore of Minutemen songs. I would be remiss if I didn’t give praise to guitarist Ron Watson and drummer Raul Morales. They are playing with a certified legend of music. Night after night they get on stage with they most respected bass player in the history of music on this planet and they hold their own. To have the courage to actually play Minutemen songs is noteworthy in itself. To make everyone feel so moved and touched to hear those songs, and in the case of Watson actually sing D. Boon’s lyrics, is a form of magic that can not be denied.

Mike Watt, he’s 53 years old. He was marked with a cane and a knee brace. And yet neither age, nor injury, nor any one’s bullshit idea of what it is to be an adult slowed him down in the slightest. Watt is an organic machine, perfectly crafted to put that bass in his hand and play it for the people. It’s what he’s done since he was a teenager, and he’s doing it well into a time where most men his age have safely put away in their 401k, raised shitty, pussified, asshole kids, and do whatever they can to repress the rest of us. He was an original and he still does it better, longer, faster and stronger than piss head children not a quarter of his age.

I made my way to the side of the stage. I wasn’t the only post-young adult that wanted to shake his hand. There were dudes probably older than Watt himself surrounding him. When I got my chance I just had to thank him for all he taught me, that I keep playing bass because of everything I’ve learned from him. It didn’t say all I wanted in those words, but Watt is a wise man, he knew what I meant. He said to me, “I learned it all, the bass from D. Boon.” I will, never ever, ever forget those words, that amazing smile on his face, the happy, grateful, loving and kind eyes the he used to looked me and everyone else, awe-struck, in the face. All us mortals who just wanted to say thank you. Should we all be half the human being that Watt is, the world would be the paradise we all claim we are seeking.

I didn’t know where to add Jenny Invert, the great, soon to be not local band that opened this show to this post so I’ll just do it down here. I had seen Jenny Invert a few weeks ago at Kosmos and liked their set. Something about them was really, really great. They are quirky for sure and cool, but I think that’s unintentional because I met their bass player and the main songwriter dude tonight and they seemed way too laid back to be trying too hard. Which is what makes them great, it’s effortless and precise at the same time. Plus they have two piano players. They remind me a bit of Nick Cave, a bit of Tom Waits, a bit of Stephin Merrit, mostly his Gothic Archies project. I was into it. I was excited this band was from Albuquerque. It was something I could get behind and support. And then I found out they are moving to Seattle. Good for them, bad for me. Also, bad for Albuquerque. They are, from what I gather, a seemingly big fish, in a nearly dried up pond. Or at least, that’s the impression they gave me for why they are leaving. I can’t fault them for that. I hope anyway, they find support for what they are doing, because they truly are an exceptional, creative, unique sounding band with spot on songwriting and great stage presence (the new lady bass player doesn’t hurt by the way fellas). Our love affair was short, you will be missed. Check the link above for their new album.